Local Students Awarded Scholarships Through SACF

The Scranton Area Community Foundation has announced its 2021 scholarship recipients, benefitting 168 local students from various schools in the area from scholarship funds administered by the Foundation. 

A total of $474,440 was recently distributed through 63 scholarships, including the #GaryInspiredMe Scholarship, the Matt McGloin Scholarship, the Neal J. Fasula Scholarship, and the highly competitive James F. Swift Scholarship.

The Scranton Area Community Foundation is a partner with the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency (PHEAA) in their Partnership for Access to Higher Education (PATH) Program to offer qualifying students additional financial aid. Through PHEAA, many scholarship recipients may be eligible for additional dollars toward their tuition.

For more information on any of the scholarships at the Scranton Area Community Foundation, please contact Brittany Pagnotti, Communications Manager of the Scranton Area Community Foundation at 570-347-6203.

To establish a scholarship fund in honor of or memory of a loved one or to include a scholarship as a legacy gift in your estate plans, please contact the Scranton Area Community Foundation today or visit safdn.org to learn more.

Scholarship recipients include:

Catherine A. Alu Memorial Scholarship
Paige Martin, Dunmore High School

Cinderella’s Closet Scholarship
Jillian Brennan, Holy Cross High School

James F. Swift Scholarship
Jillian Brennan and Alexis Tanana, Holy Cross

Jeffrey Morgan Davis Memorial Scholarship
Sean Herbert, Holy Cross

John R. and Maureen J. Pesavento All Saints Interparochial Academy Scholarship
Nicholas Rusinko, Holy Cross

Joseph P. McDonald Memorial Scholarship
David Day, Katie McKitish and Steven Quarmout, all from Dunmore HS

Neal J. Fasula Scholarship
Kevin Jumper and Norah Kelly, Holy Cross

Kaci Kranson of Holy Cross Named Female Athlete of Year

Kaci Kranson, Times-Tribune female Athlete of the Year, poses with Brandon Reed who was named Male Athlete of the Year.

By Steve Svetovich

Kaci Kranson, a junior basketball and softball player at Holy Cross, was named female Athlete of the Year last month by the Times-Tribune.

Brandon Reed of Riverside was named male Athlete of the Year. 

Both were honored last month at a dinner and ceremony at the Theater at North. A total of 35 student-athletes, who were chosen as Athlete of the Week and 23 athletes who were Times-Tribune Performers of the Year, were also honored.

It marked the 71st Times-Tribune and ESPN Radio Annual Athlete of the Week ceremony.

Kaci averaged 21.5 points per game for the Holy Cross Lady Crusaders basketball team. She has 1,225 career points at Holy Cross. She is closing in on the school record heading into her senior season.

She batted .485 with 12 homers, four doubles, three triples and 28 RBIs for the Holy Cross softball team.

“When I heard my name being recognized as female Athlete of the Year, well I was in complete shock,” Kaci said to The Dunmorean. “When they announced my name it was definitely one of the best moments in my life. It was very special having my two high school coaches support me. I am honored.”

Kaci’s softball coach at Holy Cross is Joe Ross. Her basketball coach is the veteran Barry Fitzgerald.

The hard working junior, who aspires to become a physical therapist, was a first-team, all-state selection for basketball this past season.

She was second in the Lackawanna League in homers to Maranda Runco of Mid Valley who had 19 this past year.

A point guard on the Holy Cross basketball team, Kaci had multiple 30-point plus games as she led her team to a District 2 basketball title and a close run at the state championship. 

She helped lead the Holy Cross softball team to the District 2 Class 2A championship, a 2-1 loss to Elk Lake. 

Not just a hard hitter on the softball diamond, Kaci also shows great athleticism, speed and range in the outfield catching every ball in sight.

She is considered a strong Division 1 college candidate for both basketball and softball. 

Known for her character and team play, she has a strong knowledge of both sports.

Driven to success, Kaci also excels in the classroom and is currently spending her time working out with a cast due to a broken wrist she suffered  making a dive in the outfield in the district title softball loss to Elk Lake. 

She is driven to be the best despite a quiet demeanor and often deflecting credit to her teammates.

“This really is a great honor,” she said. “I had great support.” 

Holy Cross Class of ’21 Celebrates Graduation

Holy Cross High School held its commencement on June 4 at Mohegan Sun Arena, Wilkes-Barre, with 62 seniors graduating. Commencement speaker was Most Rev. Joseph Bambera, Bishop of Scranton. Benjamin D. Tolerico is school principal.

A Baccalaureate Mass was celebrated on June 3 at Cathedral of Saint Peter with Rev. Cyril D. Edwards as celebrant.

Peyton Phillips, daughter of Nancy and Justin Phillips, Nicholson, was valedictorian, while Norah Kelly, daughter of Meg Kelly and Thomas Pappas, Scranton, was salutatorian.

Peyton Phillips attended Mt View Elementary and during her high school career, shehas been a member of the National Honor Society, which she served as vice president; Student Council, PJAS, Foreign Language Club, History Club, Track and Field and Soccer in which she served as captain.  

Valedictorian Peyton’s academic career will continue at the University of Connecticut where she will pursue a major in Biomedical Engineering with a Pre-Med track and she hopes to pursue a career in Medicine, either in Pediatrics or Non-invasive Cardiology.

Salutatorian Norah Kelly entered Holy Cross after graduating from All Saints Academy and during her high school career Norah has been a member of the National Honor Society, Foreign Language Club, Service Club, Crafting Club, costume crew for Drama Club, Fiction Fanatics, and served as a Daisy Leader for Girl Scouts and Junior Camp Counselor. In the fall, Norah plans to attend the University of Notre Dame.

Graduates included: Jack O’Malley Allardyce (diploma with distinction); Kathryn Grace Augustine, Bria Ann Beggin, Emma Lauren Bellman; Patrick Michael Bennie (diploma with distinction); Jillian Frances Brennan, Sarah Lynne Callejas, Paige Marie Caskey, Lucca Anthony Cerminaro, Kelsey Anne Conlon, Laurel Marie Cortazar, Arabella Cecile Cox, James B. Davis, Matthew Adrian Dec, Carter Elizabeth Engelhardt, Kylie Noelle Engleman and Ryan Philip Evans.

Also, James Michael Fay, Emily Jane Ferguson, Kylee Rian Gale, Patrick Robert Gilman Jr., Emily Rose Haikes, William Robert Hanna, Lauren Elizabeth Hegedus, Ryan Joseph Huester (diploma with distinction); Will Anthony Kalinich, Robert J. Kane, Norah Ann Kelly (diploma with distinction); Molly Marie Landseidel, Thomas Theodore Lee, Abigail Grace Lentowski (diploma with distinction), Mark Lopez and Brandson Ludovici Jr.

Also, David Joseph Mariotti, Julia Hockey Mazur, Erin Elena McGee (diploma with distinction); Catherine Grace McGovern, Jacob Richard McLane, Nathan Patrick McLane, Ashlyn Marie McNally, Tyler Loren Mendicino, Samuel Morales, Sarah Elizabeth Murphy, Alexander Joseph Nole, Peyton Olivia Phillips (diploma with distinction); Cristia Lourdes Ives Polizzi, William Henry Roever II, Craig T. Roman and David Christopher Romanski.

Also, Corey Thomas Scochin, Caroline Grace Shaffern, Andrew Nicholas Skutack, Alesis Marie Tanana, Mikele-Danilo A. Tenev, Connor Benjamin Tone, Rebecca Maureen Tone, Kristina Lynn Tranovich, Elizabeth Wallace and Douglas Patrick Walsh.